Ireland Granted Home Rule



The British Parliament passed the Government Act. The Act called for the creation of separate Parliaments in Northern and Southern Ireland. Each part of Ireland was also to retain its representation in the British Parliament. The Act was accepted in Northern Ireland. In the South, the Irish independence movement Sinn Fein won all but four seats in the new Parliament.

The Irish had continuously worked towards Independence from Great Britain. Their struggle was both political and military. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) had been continuously attacking British troops and government installations in Ireland. The British sent 40,000 troops to Ireland to try to put down the rebellion. The British passed the Home Rule Bill; under it, there would be two parliaments in Ireland, one in Belfast and one in Dublin. Thus the parliament in Dublin would allow Irish Catholics to govern themselves.

The IRA and its political wing the Sein Fein rejected that plan, which was implemented. They demanded complete Independence of Ireland from Great Britain. The level of violence continued to escalate. A special Irish police force made up of ex-army officers was created that became known as the Black and Tans. Violence accelerated. On June 16, 1920, a band of Catholics besieged a Protestant Club in Ennis. A battle ensued in which 17 people died. For every action, there was a reaction. For every killing, there was a reprisal killing. Police were killed, and they responded by killing IRA members. Martial law was declared in Ireland's southern provinces, but that was not enough to stop the violence. Winston Churchill, in a speech to the House of Commons, said: Let constitutional dominion begin. Let the Irish people carry the debate from the squalid conditions in which it is now being pushed forward by the Irish murder gang into the field of fair discussions. Let the press their constitutional claims as all of the people of the British Isles have the right to do, in the great constitutional parliamentary assemblies of the nation, and they will find instantly there will a release of the harsh lamentable conditions which brings misery upon Ireland and undoubtedly is bringing discredit on the whole British Empire.